Despite what we all think, men and women aren’t really that different. Neither is from Mars or Venus; they both live on Earth, where people of all genders and orientations are forced to communicate with each other and get along — in order to procreate or just get it on. However, to facilitate this nookie, a lot of us do some fucked up things — girls included — because matters of the heart turn us into silly little fools. To paraphrase Lorelai Gilmore, when it comes to love, everyone speaks fluent moron.
We can all get along better when we start being less douchey to each other, and let’s be honest: Guys have a bad habit of that in their dating lives. However, as someone who is five months without a cigarette, I know habits can be broken. It just all starts with accountability and calling yourself out. For the benefit of the future and present human race, these are 10 things guys need to stop doing if they want to be the “nice” guys they claim to be on their dating profile.
1. Pretending they’re “into you” just to get you “into” bed.
Men tend to operate under this misapprehension that the only way to get someone to have sex with you is to trick them, playing very elaborate games that even Jigsaw would say is too much. To get a girl to sleep with you, you need to treat her poorly and lower herself esteem to such a point that her only recourse is to bone you — and suck your dick if she wants to live. But the thing is: Girls know that trick. They’re not stupid. They know all the games, and they want to get laid as much as you do. However, they’re more likely to do that (and feel good about it) when you’re up front about what you want. They aren’t all flowers and sunshine and marriage. They’re DTF, but not Down To Get Disrespected.
Want to get laid? Be cool and be honest. That’s the panty-dropper right there.
2. Bullying people into messaging them back on OKCupid.
My roommate, God love her, is wading through the sea of misery that is online dating. Although OKCupid has its hidden treasures — I met my last ex there — it has its share of guys you could never see yourself dating. And that’s okay. There will be someone out there for them. However, the guys you have zero interest in never seem to take a hint. They’ll message you and then message you again when they don’t hear back. And then follow up by berating you, complaining about what a “nice guy” they are and what a “bitch” you are. Trust me, dude. If you have to qualify yourself as a nice guy, you’re not that nice, and if you were truly a good human being, you’d take the hint and leave the poor girl alone. She doesn’t want her muffin buttered by you. You can go shave your back now.
3. Making up excuses for why they didn’t call.
If you weren’t into it, you weren’t. That’s cool. A human being with any sort of objective outlook on dating expects that there will be those guys who flake out on a second date — either because they were just looking for sex in the first place or they weren’t interested in a second one. If you have never had this happen to you, your snatch must be made of gold and your face carved by angels. I don’t know about that life. But those of us who have know the guy will always offer an excuse that involves a) being busy at work b) having life drama c) a dead family member or d) being dead yourself. However, you don’t have to kill anyone off to be nice about it. Just be up front that it didn’t work for you. It’s not the end of the world, and I’m sure your very alive father will appreciate not being murdered just because you’re a lying prick who can’t communicate.
4. Lying about wanting a relationship if they don’t.
There’s always room to figure out what you want out of your dating life — to see someone while you’re figuring out where this is going. Not every relationship is the same and your needs from each person you see might be very different. But there’s a difference between “dating grey area” and “not knowing what we are to each other” and overtly leading someone on. Are you just getting out of a relationship and need some single time to just be casual? Then it’s best not to go on a bunch of escalatingly intimate dates before you let someone know that. One of the most important things in a relationship is to be with someone who gets where you’re at right now, and you can’t do that if you’re giving them what you think they want: a boyfriend. The only way to find out what they want is to communicate — and ask.
5. Expecting other people to be perfect.
Too many guys have this skewed vision of what their mates are like — as if a partner is this magical creature who can change them, the Manic Pixie Dream Angel who floats down from heaven. However, your partner isn’t a motherfucking unicorn, and if they are, they’re a unicorn that poops, farts, cries, has human emotions and pukes when they are sick. They feel all the same things that you do, and they aren’t perfect. It’s bullshit like this that allows guys to categorize anyone as “crazy” for doing something they don’t like. Expecting you to be on time? Crazy. Wanting you to listen to their bullshit too? Crazy. Hoping they can actually share the not-nice parts of themselves without you bailing at the first sign of trouble? So fucking crazy.
6. Only giving compliments based on looks.
Hey, everyone loves when someone tells them they look hot. No one is the world has perfect self-esteem and we all love when someone notices if we got a a new haircut or have been going to the gym more often. When my butt is having a fantastic day, it’s nice to have that goodness affirmed. However, I would always prefer to be complimented on the person I am, inside of what that person happens to look like. Sure, it’s hard work to put on clean underwear and look presentable, but it’s harder work maintaining friendships, being a healthy functioning human and not killing people every day. Compliment me on my ability to have not murdered anyone at the end of the work day. That’s what I appreciate.
7. Blaming their partner for all of the problems in their relationship.
Guys have a Taylor Swift problem: Every one of their exes is the bitch that broke their heart, instead of a flawed human being that it didn’t work out with. We all have those previous partners with whom you wouldn’t want to be in the same room ever again, but if all of your exes are the problem, if you notice a particular pattern in your relationships and if you’re completely unable to take responsibility for your share in that, they might not be the problem. You’re the problem.
8. Using dates to vent about their previous relationships.
Anyone who thinks that exes won’t come up on a date is cuckoo bananas. When we’re telling stories about our lives and our pasts, the people we’ve dated are a part of that. Shit’s going to come up. That said, no one wants to hear the storied, sordid history of your previous relationship on a first date. That’s the kind of admission you make after building trust and knowing you can confide in someone who will listen — instead of bombarding someone when they don’t know you yet. A date is an audition for another date, not free therapy. Just because you might be paying for dinner doesn’t mean you’re financing a two-hour emotional dump. When going out with someone, you should make it about the person you’re with, not the people you’ve been with. Two is company. Nine is a baseball team, not a date.
9. Spending the entire date on their phone.
This is a particular gay boy problem — but one that affects their straight male counterparts as well. I once sat next to two gays who were having dinner at a nice restaurant, a date in which they spent the greater portion on their phones, barely attempting to communicate. I figured that they were in a soulless LTR, one of those relationships where they’re staying together for the kids — or at least the clothes. (Same-sex relationships double your wardrobe.) But no. This was a first date. How can you get to know someone if you’re staring at Facebook? You can’t. They don’t live in your phone, unless they’ve been trapped by a sorcerer’s evil spell. If so, then you have a lot worse problems than Facebook.
10. Disappearing and then reappearing like it was nothing.
My friend was seeing this guy a couple months ago who just stopped texting her — but finally got around to contacting her again yesterday. He wanted to have sex, of course, as if not talking to someone entitled him to downgrading that person to a fuckbuddy. He also didn’t see anything wrong with this situation. That’s not how it works. It’s unrealistic (and juvenile) to expect that someone will always text you back right away, but you shouldn’t get a parade for deigning to show up. Be accountable to your own bullshit and be aware of the influence you have on others. Being a good person isn’t hard, but it starts by thinking about someone other than yourself. This is what adulthood means.